Bay Area Lawmakers React to Withdrawal of GOP Health-Care Proposal
All agree that some sort of health-care reform is still on the horizon.
WASHINGTON, DC – Four members of the U.S. House of Representatives from the Tampa Bay area issued statements about Friday’s (March 24) decision to withdraw the American Health Care Act from consideration.
Here are those statements:
U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Tarpon Springs. Bilirakis represents the 12th Congressional District, which includes all of Pasco and northern parts of Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.
“My main concern has been, and will continue to be, making sure my constituents have access to the best possible health care. Our efforts do not stop here to ensure our nation’s health care system is stronger, more affordable, and truly patient-centered. That is my goal, and I will keep working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to accomplish it.”
U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, D-St. Petersburg. Crist represents the 13th District, which includes mid- and south Pinellas County.
“This is a win for the American people. It was a bad bill, plain and simple. It would have harmed our seniors, and particularly those who often don’t have a voice in the debate – ‘the least among us’ if you will, the poor and the disabled. We have the opportunity now to drop the rhetoric, roll up our sleeves, and work together to fix what needs fixing to bring down costs, expand access, and protect the most vulnerable in our society. I’m an optimist, this was a teachable moment, and I think the lesson will be learned. Work together, put people above politics.”
U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa. Castor represents the 14th District, which includes a portion of Hillsborough County.
“Today, my neighbors in Florida and hardworking families across America can breathe a sigh of relief that the Republican TrumpCare bill failed thanks to the outpouring of opposition from citizens, doctors, nurses, hospitals and advocates. They knew it would rip coverage away, raise costs and provide a massive tax break to wealthy special interests.
“Although we must remain vigilant about future Republican attempts to weaken health care in America, the failure of the Republican bill will allow millions of families to keep their health care and peace of mind. Hopefully we can work together to build on the success of the Affordable Care Act that has dropped the number of uninsured Americans to its lowest in history and ended discrimination against our neighbors with pre-existing conditions.
“Republicans tried to ram TrumpCare through the House without a single hearing and then traded consumer protections away with damaging changes to bring the right-wing tea party faction of the U.S. House on board. It collapsed under its own weight and the unmasking of the huge tax breaks to wealthy special interests while raising costs for everyday Americans and weakening Medicare and Medicaid health services.
“We have made meaningful progress to provide affordable quality health care coverage – 1.6 million in Florida and 20 million across the country have gained coverage since the ACA was enacted – and we will remain vigilant to protect quality health care coverage, Medicare and Medicaid. One of the patient protections I have been staunchly fighting to guard is the anti-discrimination provision for people with pre-existing medical conditions. I think about Greg Robertson, Christine Roeper, Joe Nammour and Darlene Goodfellow, my neighbors in Tampa Bay who have been brave as they shared their health care stories publicly and are frightened about what it means to them and their friends if this essential health benefit is stripped as Republicans aim to do. They represent 7.8 million Floridians with pre-existing conditions and 129 million across the country – these are our neighbors who have insurance through the federal marketplace exchange or through their employer. Other essential health benefits that Republicans proposed in the middle of the night last night to strip include the guarantee that health insurance plans cover emergency room and hospital visits, mental health care, prescriptions and more. The nonpartisan CBO states that these latest changes would cost an additional $186 billion more over 10 years without covering more Americans.
“I will continue to work hard every day against any Republican attempt to rip coverage away from hardworking Americans and forcing millions of families to pay more for less benefits.”
U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Brooksville. Webster represents the 11th Congressional District, which includes all of Hernando, Sumter and Citrus counties, and parts of Lake and Marion counties.
“For six years, I have advocated for repealing the [un]Affordable Care Act(ACA) and replacing it with real healthcare reform. Obamacare is collapsing across the country – currently 4.7 million people are without an insurer. This failed policy is raising costs for patients and forcing insurers out of the marketplace, which leaves patients and families with nowhere to go.
“As I have said, I have concerns with the bill that was to come up for a vote today. In particular, it does not provide the dollars needed for the Medicaid-funded nursing home beds that many of our seniors rely on. I have expressed these concerns to House leadership and the administration. It is my hope that House and Senate leadership and the administration will work together and bring to the floor the conservative, common-sense healthcare reform that Americans deserve.”
American Health Care Act | Trumpcare | Affordable Health Care Act | Obamacare | Health Care | TB Reporter
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